Tuesday, December 27, 2016

PENNE PALACE

Palazzo Penne was built in 1406 and the area where it is located is called “Pennino” (meaning slope), because it was a small hill where the road surface was about 5 meters lower than now, a place that at the time was considered healthy, and safe against flooding landslides.
The facade  is made with ashlar rusticated “piperno” alternated with “soft stone of the mountain”, referred to as “piperino tuff”, which is actually trachyte: a compact yellowish rock.
The door is oak, although altered over the centuries, is one example of craftsmanship with steel spikes, iron studs called “Peroni”, consisting of the original arches of the Gothic period.
The inner courtyard is decorated with a beautiful five-arched portico with a lovely garden still partly preserved.

Friday, December 9, 2016

ONLY IN NAPLES

“Only in Naples” is a charming tale of Katherine’s experience coming to Naples to work as an intern in the US Consulate. She is immediately adopted by the lively, energetic Raffaela Avallone who finds her a place to live and invites her to dinner.
Katherine is engulfed by the energy and affection of this remarkable Italian woman who makes a mission of teaching Katherine to cook.   But quickly the cooking lessons lead to a love story between Katherine and Raffaela’s son Salvatore.
Katherine Wilson has a delightful, bubbly style and manages to draw the reader into the city and culture of Naples with all its chaotic, throbbing intensity and its quirky traditions.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

DOMUS DI PULCINELLA

The Neapolitan Guarattelle are an ancient type of puppets to glove born in Naples around 1500. The special feature of the show is the voice of Pulcinella which is achieved thanks to the "pivetta", a tool that the puppeteer keeps at the bottom of the palate during performances. This combines a unique and surprising movement technique of puppets and a power acting while practicing that make the shows theatrical performance incredibly modern.
In his study Gaspare Nasuto teaches courses in wood carving and training for a new generation of artists puppeteers. Its wooden puppets, small masterpieces of craftsmanship, are in private collections and museums in Italy and abroad.
Gaspare Nasuto is among the artists puppeteers more rewarded. So many are the productions dedicated to Pulcinella, that he is considered an interpreter and also an author.

Monday, November 14, 2016

AMALFI LEMON SOUFFLE'

So what, you might be wondering, is the best way to finish off dinner?
With La Caravella’s legendary Amalfi lemon soufflé, of course! It’s the stuff dreams are made of (and that you should order in advance when booking your reservation).
Salvatore Quasimodo, the 1959 Nobel literature prize winner, described it as having “the sun in your plate.” I’m quite sure Quasimodo’s description is better than anything I could ever devise, and so we’ll just leave it at that.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

DOLCE VITA

Italy! Like nowhere else on earth – the sunshine and sea salt, the smell of citrus and coffee, a flirtatious glance, an incomparable song drawn deep from the heart. 
Italy and its immortal music have a magical pull on people like no other culture – and Jonas Kaufmann feels this particularly keenly. The new album Dolce vita is his tribute to this culture, this way of life that has conceived one immortal melody after the other for the tenor voice and influenced him so much. 
The passion and beauty of Italian melody can also be heard in such Neapolitan hits as Torna a Surriento, Core ’ngrato and Passione. Even some of today’s pop songs display the unmistakable stamp of italianità, as for example in Un amore così grande, which was first sung and recorded by Mario Del Monaco in 1976, or in Lucio Dalla’s Caruso and Romano Musumarra’s Il canto, written expressly for Luciano Pavarotti. 

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

A PLACE IN THE SUN

Viewers of Un Posto Al Sole will not be dazzled by fake, luxurious scenes à-la-Beautiful, however: instead, they will behold a cocktail of 50% intrigue and the other 50%, crafted stories passed off as real-life drama, inspired by socially relevant issues, in any event. There will be no parties and exclusive clubs here. 
The secret of its success, is precisely this: produced by the public television center in Naples (RAI Napoli) and FremantleMedia, a British television production and distribution company, viewers get a slice of life sprinkled with enticing love stories, intrigue and comedy, all perfectly woven together each evening to create the right dose of suspense, when suddenly the theme song plays and the credits start rolling, and viewers can’t wait to tune in the following evening for the next episode, just as they have been doing for 20 years.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

NEAPOLITAN CAROUSEL

There is no doubt that Ettore Giannini  is in love with Naples and is wearing his heart where it can easily be seen in pleasing shades of Technicolor. His Neapolitan saga, roughly covering three centuries up to the present, is bridged by the intermittent appearances of a homeless, impecunious but happy hurdy-gurdy man's family. 
There are, to summarize, five ballet numbers executed by the Marquis de Cuevas company, the African Ballet of Keita Fodeba and the Rome Opera Theatre. And, as noted in the credits, the voices of such famed talents as Beniamino Gigli make the "singers" on screen sound impressive in such standards as "Santa Lucia," "Funiculi, Funicula" and "O Sole Mio."
Since "Carousel" first saw the light of day in 1954, it can be listed as among the first films to feature Sophia Loren.

Friday, October 7, 2016

THE EGYPTIAN COLLECTION

The MANN (National Archaeological Museum in Naples) is going to experiment what everyone interested in cultural heritage and archaeology in Italy was waiting for: the reopening of its Egyptian collection after five years of closing due to structural adjustment works.
The collection has its “natural home” in five rooms that will be now thematic for an easy and enjoyable fruition, and take their name by the story the artefacts tell and recall to the memory: Men and Pharaohs, the Tomb and funerary equipment, Mummification, the Magic and religious world, Egypt in Campania.
The selection kept by the great Southern museum is wide and variegated and counts more than 1200 objects, a series of artefacts born with the Borgia-Picchianti collection in the first decades of the XIX century.

Friday, September 23, 2016

IN THE LIGHTS OF NAPLES

Francesco de Mura, the indisputable leader in his day of the Neapolitan School and the favorite of the reigning Bourbon King Charles VII, was the chief painter of decorative cycles to emerge from the studio of Francesco Solimena, the celebrated Baroque artist.
De Mura’s refined and elegant compositions, with their exquisite, light, and airy colors, heralded the rococo in Naples, and his later classicistic style led to Neo-Classicism.
De Mura’s ceiling frescoes rivaled those of his celebrated Venetian contemporary, Giambattista Tiepolo. Yet, today, he lacks his proper place in the history of art.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

ISLE OF CAPRI

'Twas on the Isle of Capri that I found her
Beneath the shade of an old walnut tree
Oh, I can still see the flow'rs blooming round her
Where we met on the Isle of Capri
She was as sweet as a rose at the dawning
But somehow fate hadn't meant her for me
And though I sailed with the tide in the morning
Still my heart's on the Isle of Capri
Summertime was nearly over
Blue Italian sky above
I said "Lady, I'm a rover
Can you spare a sweet word o'love?"
She whispered softly "It's best not to linger"
And then as I kissed her hand I could see
She wore a lovely meatball on her finger
'Twas goodbye at the Villa Capri
Summertime was nearly over
Blue Italian sky above
I said "Lady, I'm a rover
Can you spare a fine word o'love?"
She whispered softly "It's best not to linger"
And then as I kissed her hand I could see
She wore a plain golden ring on her finger
'Twas goodbye on the Isle of Capri
'Twas goodbye on the Isle of Capri
'Twas goodbye on the Isle of Capri

Thursday, September 1, 2016

EATING PIZZA IN NAPLES

The lump of dough is the size of a bowling ball and almost as heavy: working it requires real physical effort. Over and over again the pizzaiuolo heaves it onto the marble counter, forcing air into the mixture. Then he takes a chunk the size of an orange, flattens it with a push of his fist, and twirls it on his fingers until, magically, it seems to open up like a cowboy's lassoo into a shimmering, spinning saucer a few millimetres thick, hovering over his hand. 
This is la gestualità, 'the movement': as important a part of making a genuine pizza as choosing the right ingredients - which only ever consist of San Marzano tomatoes, oil and oregano, or, if you are making a Margherita instead of the more traditional Marinara, some mozzarella and a few torn basil leaves.
Once the toppings are in place, the pizzaiuolo takes a long paddle not unlike a lollipop lady's sign and slides the pizza into the glowing mouth of a wood-burning oven. Three minutes later it's done; the toppings still liquid, the crust light and airy, the base mottled with ash from the burning logs. 

Friday, August 12, 2016

THE SIREN PARTHENOPE

The origins of the city of Naples, maritima urbs, as Tito Livio referred to it, are firmly rooted in the myth of the Siren Parthenope.  The story begins on the island of Megaride where, according to legend, the original nucleus of the city called Parthenope originated. According to ancient sources, this small settlement lay near the tomb of the young siren who had lived in the seas around the Sorrento peninsula.
Legend has it that Parthenope, devastated at her inability to make Ulysses fall in love with her on his way back from Troy, was washed up on Megaride. It was only later that the first Greeks settled there.
Strabone and Pliny the Elder referred to the existence of the virgin Siren’s tomb in Naples, although it was never found. On the other hand, the poet Giovanni Boccaccio in his Ninfale d’Ameto, recalls how her tomb was found by the Cumaeans. It is also believed that Boccaccio wrote the legend about the love affair between the river Sebeto and the sweet Siren who is depicted, according to medieval tradition as a kind of animal, half woman and half fish.  

Sunday, July 24, 2016

DAWN CONCERT

French poet André Gide marveled that Ravello is "nearer to the sky than to the shore," a fact that is stunningly demonstrated at theBelvedere of Infinity terrace at Villa Cimbrone. 
The former home of British Lord Grimthorpe, the villa is surrounded by maze-like gardens shaded by lush trees and wisteria-laden pergolas; explore on foot or by bike. 
The annual Ravello Festival continues the town's history of drawing artists, writers and musicians; a beloved tradition is the Concerto all’Alba (“dawn concert”), which starts at 5 a.m.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

COLLINE SALERNITANE

The “Colline Salernitane” extra virgin olive oil has very ancient roots. It comes from local varieties of olives which have always been present in the Salernitan area. The oil gets its typical characteristics from the climatic, historical and economic peculiarities of this territory. The oil is extracted from the local varieties “Rotondella”, “il Frantoio”, “la Carpellese” or “Nostrale” by at least 65% and the remaining 35% is “Ogliarola” and “Leccino”. The methods of cultivation are also entirely traditional. 
The olives must be picked before the 31st of December of every year. They are picked by hand and with the help of shaking machines and picking any olive that has fallen to the ground is forbidden. 
The production and elaboration area of this oil includes 87 municipalities, one of which is Eboli. The milling process has to happen within the area in which the olives are picked and within registered oil mills. 

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

WILD CARNATION OF CAPRI

Legend has it that in 1380, the father prior of the Carthusian Monastery of St. James, picked a bouquet of the best and most beautiful flowers on the island to celebrate the surprise arrival of the Queen Giovanni D’Angiò in Capri.
When they died, three days later, the prior noticed that the water they’d been kept in had taken on a mysterious fragrance he didn’t recognise.
Intrigued, he took the water to the friar, who used his knowledge of alchemy to trace the origin of the scent to the “Garofilium Silvestre Caprese.” This scent was the first perfume of Capri.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

CARUSO

Qui dove il mare luccica e tira forte il vento

su una vecchia terrazza davanti al golfo di Surriento

un uomo abbraccia una ragazza dopo che aveva pianto

poi si schiarisce la voce e ricomincia il canto.

[Here, where the sea sparkles and the wind blows

On an old balcony in front of the gulf of Sorrento

A man hugs a girl, he just cried

He clears his throat and he starts singing]



Te voglio bene assaje

ma tanto tanto bene sai

è una catena ormai

che scioglie il sangue dint’e vene sai.

[I love you so much

But very very much, you know

It’s a chain

Which melts the blood inside the veins, you know]

Monday, June 20, 2016

DE BALNEIS PUTEOLANIS

The only thing we can be certain of is that Peter of Eboli (in the Campania region, at the time part of the Kingdom of Naples) was a monk, who, under Henry VI, Holy Roman Emperor and King of Sicily, reached the status of court poet.
Peter of Eboli possessed a certain medical knowledge, probably acquired in Salerno, home of the prestigious Schola Medica Salernitana, the world’s most noted medical university and, accordingly, Western Europe’s most influential source of medical expertise at that time.
The De Balneis Puteolanis was written before 1197. It describes the thermal baths of the Phlegraean fields, on the Tyrrhenian shore between Naples and Baia. The poem includes 35 epigrams inspired by inscriptions written on ancient stone carvings. Over its six couplets, it celebrates the therapeutic virtues of 35 baths, together with the illnesses they were believed to cure.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

POMPEII NEW SECRETS

For the first time ever, CT scanning and X-Ray equipment bring new light to the secrets of the victims of the 79 AD eruption. Mary unpacks the human stories behind the tragic figures: gladiators, slaves, businesswomen and children.
She goes behind the scenes of the ‘Great Pompeii Project’ where restoration teams have gradually removed the layers of time and deterioration from the frescoes and mosaics of houses closed to the public for decades. With the help of point-cloud scanning technology, Pompeii is seen and explained like never before.
Mary has unprecedented access to hidden storerooms and archaeological labs packed to the hilt with items from the daily life of Pompeii: plumbing fittings, pottery, paint pots, foodstuff and fishing nets. As she pieces it all together, Mary presents a film that is a celebratory and unique view of life in this extraordinary town.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

WRITE TO ME FROM NAPLES

Write to me from Naples, write me every day
I love you and Naples more than words can say
Call me Cara Mia, tell me all that's new
Write to me from Naples, keep my heart with you

I can hear a mandolino
Softly entice
While I raise a glass of vino
Praising your eyes

Since we said 'Arrivederci'
My poor heart cries
For a letter from you

Write to me from Naples, I love you and Naples
Call me Cara Mia, tell me all that's new
Write to me from Naples, keep my heart with you
Keep my heart with you

Monday, May 2, 2016

VILLA GIUSSO

Monastery, crown place, factory, manor house: you can find at Villa Giusso the heritage of four century of changement.
If you are looking for something different and not for everyone, Villa Giusso is the answer: as you walk through the stone archway into the main courtyard you feel as though you have stepped back in time and near the ancient columns, the prayers of the monks are still in the air.
The guided tour through the monastery features: antique furniture and paintings from 17th and 18th century,17th majolica kitchen, the family’s chapel, a 17th century wine and olive oil cellar with original barrels and jars, a luxuriously decorated early 18th entertainment room styled in fine gold Damascus silk fabric, the holiday’s collections.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Sunday, April 17, 2016

VESUVIUS BY SUFJAN STEVENS

Vesuvius, I am here
You are all I have
Fire of fire, I'm insecure
For it has all been made to plan

Though I know I will fail
I cannot be made to laugh
For in life as in death
I'd rather be burned than be living in debt

Vesuvius, are you ghost?
Or the symbols of light? Or of fantasy host?
In your breast I carry the form
The heart of the earth and the weapons of warmth

Vesuvius, the tragic oath
For you have destroyed the elegant smoke
Oracle, I fought him at last
They were the feast of a permanent blast

Vesuvius, oh be kind
It hasn't occurred, no it hasn't been said
Sufjan, follow the path
It leads to an article of eminent death

Sufjan, follow your heart
Follow the flame, or fall on the floor
Sufjan, the panic inside
The murdering ghost that you cannot ignore

Vesuvius, fire of fire
Follow me now, as I favor the host

Vesuvius, fire of fire
Follow me now, as I favor the ghost

Follow me now, or follow me down
Why does it have to be so hard?

Saturday, April 9, 2016

NAPLES: CLASSICAL STREET ART

Naples, with its three thousand years of history, is the perfect setting for the street art of Ernest Pignon-Ernest. This Nicoise artist was inspired by painters Caravaggio, Ribera & Guarino each of whom had been influenced by the history and faded beauty of this ancient city state. 
Ernest has used the the tattered and torn facades of these elegant, decayed buildings to infuse his classical designs and biblical images. Creating a living artwork that finds expression in the daily lives of the Neapolitans during Easter. 
Ernest revisited Naples 5 times over 12 years bringing his unique art to the cityscape and creating a visual feast that is in perfect harmony with its setting. 

Saturday, April 2, 2016

I SURVIVED

I read “I Survived The Destruction of Pompeii” by Lauren Tarshis.
In the first chapter, Mount Vesuvius erupted and Pompeii vanished under more than 30 feet of fiery ash and stone. The people said it was the end of the world. Marcus, the main character, looked up and saw a big flaming boulder heading toward him and he ran.
Marcus was a slave and had to scrub the floors and bowls, and it was a lot of work. Marcus was just missed by a big marble statue of Achilles that nearly came crashing down on top of him.
So far Marcus had bad luck. Will his luck change? I think you should head to your library or bookstore and grab a copy to find out!

Thursday, March 24, 2016

CASIN OF SAN SILVESTRO

At the height of the borough of Puccianiello, the aqueduct Carolino is introduced within the Forest of S. Sylvester, an estate of one hundred hectares, expanded and rearranged to make it suitable for hunting, to the cultivation of vines and olive trees, for raising of sheep and production of fine cheeses.In the resort called Parito, between 1797 and 1801, it was built a casino to offer refreshment to the king and his entourage during the hunt.
From the inner garden, organized according to the Renaissance’s canons,a series of orchards on terraces, mediates the relationship between the building and the view of the Campania’s plain dominated by the size of the Palace in the distance.
Covering an area of about eight hectares planted in front of the building was a large rectangular vineyard called of San Silvestro.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

ARIE NAPOLETANE

From the late seventeenth century Naples was one of the venues for any Italian (or Italianate) composer or singer in search of fame and fortune. 
Great castrati like Farinelli, Senesino and Caffarelli intoxicated audiences, four conservatoires churned out star singers trained to the utmost, and composers like Alessandro Scarlatti, Leonardo Leo, 
Leonardo Vinci, Nicola Porpora and Giovanni Battista Pergolesi vied for public attention and private patronage. It was a heady musical mix of unequalled richness and variety, and a place where a composer might be murdered by a jealous nobleman, or a singer be thrown into prison for public lasciviousness.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

A DAY IN POMPEII

The legend of Pompeii has been told countless times, but it’s still gripping. The ancient city, along with Herculaneum and other nearby towns, was buried under ash (20 feet of it in some places) when Mount Vesuvius erupted.
Pompeii was a favorite vacation destination for Romans. The ruins of Pompeii, preserved under mountains of ash, have been a tourist destination and archeological treasure trove for almost 300 years. Most chilling are the bodies frozen in place. Along with them, the room-size frescoes, jewelry, and even wine bottles, have provided historians with an unmatchable look at quotidian life in ancient Rome.
An exhibition at the Melbourne Museum in 2009 created a 3D theater installation that featured an animated look at how the eruption happened, over the course of 48 hours. Called A Day in Pompeii, it bypasses Hollywood CGI exaggeration and provides a fact-based visual interpretation of the famous city’s fate.

Friday, February 5, 2016

LEMON DELIGHT

The director Roberto Rossellini fell in love with the Amalfi Coast in the mid 1940s. “Those who live on the Coast are mad, they’re drunk on sunshine,” he often said, “but they possess the strength of imagination.” And his enthusiasm spread to the Hollywood stars of the era, who flocked to the area, bringing the region into the collective consciousness.
This land has also been declared a Unesco World Heritage Site. And while it’s highly unlikely that one of the reasons for this decision was Salvatore De Riso’s famous “la Delizia al limone” dessert, it very well could have been. This irresistible dish, an authentic culinary manifesto of the region, is the stuff that legends are made of: created in 1989, by a then-very-young Sal, (who is today the 2010/2011Italian Pastry Champion according to the Accademia Maestri Pasticceri Italiani) it is still his most requested dish – along with the pear and ricotta tart.
A stop at his pastry shop in Minori is practically obligatory.
Well, imagine a small, snowy dome – evoking the shape of a delicate breast -- topped with a dollop of ribbed cream and then, a thinly sliced strip of lemon rind. The dome is made from a special Pan di Spagna, or Génoise cake, which literally melts on your tongue with a pleasing sour hint from the ground almonds in the batter. The spoon encounters no resistance at entry, the centre of this delicate cake encompasses a white lemon cream filling, so intense that it will make your eyes close automatically.

Friday, January 22, 2016

MARIA CALLAS AND ISCHIA

The sea around Ischia displays so many nuances of emotions, dashing its fury against the rocks or else calmly embracing the island, moon and lovers.
Maria, sitting on the boat opposite her husband, Giovan Battista Meneghini, whom she fondly calls “Titta”, watches the oars as they slice through the waves and thinks about her destiny. She recalls her mother who neglected her, leaving her a distorted legacy about the nature of love, and an absent father, who would condition her view of the male figure.  
She remembers singing in an Italian restaurant in Greenwich Village to earn a living and later meeting Giovanni Zenatello, who immediately engaged her to debut at the prestigious Verona Arena in Italy. And here she is, in Italy, where everything began and while she muses over her past and what shaped her as “La Callas”, the artist and woman, she gazes  affectionately at the man opposite her.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

AND WHILE WE WERE HERE

A woman named Jane (Kate Bosworth) moves to the island of Ischia in Italy with her husband Leonard so he can play Viola and she can write. Her husband is very serious, and must work all the time. 
There, she meets a young man named Caleb who takes her around for a day, showing her how it feels to be young and free. 
She meets her husband for lunch the next day, and tells him how great it was to have fun and feel 19 again. (...)